(Photo by Jenn Ocken)

Dish: Roux 61’s Shrimp and Alligator Cheesecake

When Roux 61 first opened south of Natchez in 2012, co-owner Jason Lees was intent on putting a savory cheesecake on the menu. He’d experienced the dish in restaurants around the country and believed one featuring local flavors would be a winner. He was right. The restaurant’s shrimp and alligator cheesecake appetizer is one of Roux 61’s top sellers both in Mississippi and now at its new location in Baton Rouge.

The dish is a labor of love. “It took us a long time to figure it out,” Lees says. “Many a pie was thrown in the trash.” Lees and his team combine fresh Gulf shrimp, diced alligator link sausage, smoked Gouda, tri-colored bell peppers, eggs and cream cheese. Then they pour the mixture into a panko breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese crust and bake it for two hours in a water bath. Each slice of the decadent, shareable cake is finished with Creole mustard cream sauce and served with toast points.

Roux 61
8322 Bluebonnet Boulevard
Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.